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Battery Charger Location? T4 Westfalia California

R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
I returned to the van today having left it on shore power to find a distinctively electrical smell and the 240v breaker triggered (won't reset). I suspect it's the charger gone pop!

What's the best way to get at it and remove it? Are there any other possible causes?

The batteries are knackered anyway but they are charging on the alternator.
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
810
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
I returned to the van today having left it on shore power to find a distinctively electrical smell and the 240v breaker triggered (won't reset). I suspect it's the charger gone pop!

What's the best way to get at it and remove it? Are there any other possible causes?

The batteries are knackered anyway but they are charging on the alternator.
A bit odd the batteries should be charging from the alternator, this would suggest the charger is fine. Maybe you just have a short on the 240v circuit? Battery charger lives under the fridge. No too difficult to access once you’ve removed the two screws that go into the end of the cover panel that are located near the hinges of the left hand cupboard door then slid the bed seat right forward so you have space to remove the remaining panel screws and slide the cover panel out. Let us know how you get on.


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R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
A bit odd the batteries should be charging from the alternator, this would suggest the charger is fine. Maybe you just have a short on the 240v circuit? Battery charger lives under the fridge. No too difficult to access once you’ve removed the two screws that go into the end of the cover panel that are located near the hinges of the left hand cupboard door then slid the bed seat right forward so you have space to remove the remaining panel screws and slide the cover panel out. Let us know how you get on.


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Thanks for your help. I'm just about to start digging! I will let you know
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Lol. It's incredibly grimy! Can't find any obvious signs of damage . The breaker is no longer tripping and I can't find any signs of 240v. The little plug symbol doesn't appear in the display.

A bit stumped! I will text the hook up socket but after that not sure. How do you get at the breaker box20180422_113841.jpg

What is the connector in the pic.?20180422_113921.jpg Looks a bit like a shunt. It is discoloured from heat but whether that is recent I don't know
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
This is it removed. It has a thick black wire on the left side, two brown on the right and two very small wires in the middle on the 2 spade connector either end of the area below the dark bit. Is it a shunt and could it be the problem? No idea how it works as it looks like a continuous metal piece 20180422_130220.jpg
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
810
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
This is it removed. It has a thick black wire on the left side, two brown on the right and two very small wires in the middle on the 2 spade connector either end of the area below the dark bit. Is it a shunt and could it be the problem? No idea how it works as it looks like a continuous metal piece View attachment 32336
The earth shunt was a fairly common fault on the T5. Ive not heard of many T4s suffering the same problem. A small number of folks on here have had issues with corrosion in the wiring behind the 240v inlet socket. I’d probably take a look there before delving into the 240v trip switch and the fuse board. @sidepod is your man on here for all things electrical with the T4 charger.


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R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
I did check the inlet and it's ok. On closer inspection of the charger I think it's fried. I don't have the sockets to open it up but a portion of the circuit board viewed through the perforations looks dark and glazed and has a familiar smell.

Just wondering if the shunt (if that's what it is) is Ok with that dark colour.

I will be replacing the charger with something more up to date. Is there a wireing diagram of what the additional wires leaving the charger do?

All help gratefully received @sidepod :)
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
810
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
I did check the inlet and it's ok. On closer inspection of the charger I think it's fried. I don't have the sockets to open it up but a portion of the circuit board viewed through the perforations looks dark and glazed and has a familiar smell.

Just wondering if the shunt (if that's what it is) is Ok with that dark colour.

I will be replacing the charger with something more up to date. Is there a wireing diagram of what the additional wires leaving the charger do?

All help gratefully received @sidepod :)
The condition of your earth shunt could be down to a gradually failing charger I guess.

I’m sure there’s a thread on here somewhere with details as to which wire does what - I don’t know where though. A search in the T4 technical section should shed some light on that. The circuitry is know to fry on the charger. Some folks have had them repaired but I guess whether that’s possible depends on how badly damaged the circuit board is. Not sure what would cause it but any T4 now will have a good few years under the belt. There’s a Fraron charger that’s a modern direct replacement that a few folks have fitted. Much more advanced and substantially cheaper than the Westy one.


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sidepod

sidepod

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4,007
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T4 PopTop
That is the earth shunt and it’s function is to drive the voltage tdisplay on the over head control panel above the windscreen.

It looks a tad second hand. Is that green fur corrosion? Water ingress somewhere?

Your trip switch will, by the sounds of things, have been seeing an earth fault in the charger when it fried. If it holding ok with the charger disconnected then that’s your problem.

New gen replacement units cost around Euro 500.

There are a couple of good threads here detailing the Faron install.

Hope this helps.
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
That is the earth shunt and it’s function is to drive the voltage tdisplay on the over head control panel above the windscreen.

It looks a tad second hand. Is that green fur corrosion? Water ingress somewhere?

Your trip switch will, by the sounds of things, have been seeing an earth fault in the charger when it fried. If it holding ok with the charger disconnected then that’s your problem.

New gen replacement units cost around Euro 500.

There are a couple of good threads here detailing the Faron install.

Hope this helps.
Many thanks for your help. Would the blown charger explain no 240v even when the breaker is up?

I was thinking about replacing it with a Fraron as it looks like a straightforward swap other than the temp sensor.

Is it possible to get a replacement shunt?

There is a tiny bit of green "something" on the spade connectors. Is that caused by water? No sign of leaks but I wasn't really looking. Thanks again.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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Ah sorry I missed that bit.

No a blown charger shouldn’t affect the 240 supply.
I take it you mean there is no 240 at the socket behind the drivers seat?

First thing to check is that there is actually 240 at the incoming hook up cable?

If so then perhaps the circuit breaker has failed.
Take the trim panel off behind the drivers seat and use a voltmeter or mains tester to check for a supply at the terminals on each side of the breaker.

Make sense?
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Ah sorry I missed that bit.

No a blown charger shouldn’t affect the 240 supply.
I take it you mean there is no 240 at the socket behind the drivers seat?

First thing to check is that there is actually 240 at the incoming hook up cable?

If so then perhaps the circuit breaker has failed.
Take the trim panel off behind the drivers seat and use a voltmeter or mains tester to check for a supply at the terminals on each side of the breaker.

Make sense?
Yep. I was hoping to avoid removing that panel (I've already tested the hook up socket). I could see myself doing damage!

From the pic do you think I need to replace my shunt? Are they available? I might add an earth strap as my Erberspacher doesn't want to fire up either and I'm hoping having already replaced the glow plug the earth might be the issue.

Btw for anyone reading this..... I've just bought the van. It's in fab condition but has been parked on someone's driveway for the last five years...... LBs are dead, Erberspacher glow plug was completely corroded externally and loads of other annoying electrical issues. I thought I was nearly done (other than the heater) until the charger blew up on Saturday! Lol.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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Removing the trim panel is a doddle. There are some pics in this thread of how to.

Your Eber won’t fire up with less than 10.5 v in the batteries.

I’m not sure if the shunt will make a difference. If you can get one I’d replace it as it looks a bit sad. Earth strap shouldn’t be an issue, this is only a problem on early T5s.

How old is your van? I had a 93’ and the plastic side window seal was perished. Result was water ingress ran down the inside behind the sink and destroyed the Eber control unit.

You deffo need to get in behind the trim panel to check all is ok.

https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/engine-battery-charger-install.21891/
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
It's a '94. I will have a go at the trim panel. ...Thanks for the encouragement!

I can't find any shunts online but I will ask my local garage to see if they can get one (They are good at that). I think I will add an earth strap anyway.

We tried the Erberspacher with the engine on . I rarely use a heater so the economics of either replacing or repairing (if it's possible) aren't there, but at the same time I hate not having everything working. Maybe it will spring to life when I sort out the electrics.

What's the most popular battery choice for a x2 setup?
 
sidepod

sidepod

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When I got my van I spent a long time getting the Eber to work. Eventually traced it to a dry joint inside the control panel above the sink. They’re essentially quite simple but Westy seem to add a lot of additional control kit.

Oh you also need min 1/4 tank of diesel. The take off for the heater pump is above the engine take off so you can always drive away the following morning.

Exide (previously Sonnenchein) are the OEM fit. Don’t forget to alter the switches on the rear of the overhead panel depending on what you fit.
 
R

Rory Mack

Messages
24
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
When I got my van I spent a long time getting the Eber to work. Eventually traced it to a dry joint inside the control panel above the sink. They’re essentially quite simple but Westy seem to add a lot of additional control kit.

Oh you also need min 1/4 tank of diesel. The take off for the heater pump is above the engine take off so you can always drive away the following morning.

Exide (previously Sonnenchein) are the OEM fit. Don’t forget to alter the switches on the rear of the overhead panel depending on what you fit.
The devil is in the detail! Thanks for all the useful info:)
 
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